If you want to use an image from our site, please contact us. The art of Chinese seal carving is probably one of — if not the — oldest form of artistic expression in China having its origin in the early Shang Dynasty when oracle bone inscriptions — mainly applied to tortoise shells — were a means of predicting the future and a divination instrument. The same — still simplified and very basic carving where then also applied to what we can consider early age seal stones — then soon also made of bronze.
Seals have long history in Chinese painting and calligraphy. Use of seals is also strictly regulated. For example, different types of seals should be different shapes; also, different seals should be used in different places on the artwork.
A sealin an East and Southeast Asian context is a general name for printing stamps and impressions thereof which are used in lieu of signatures in personal documents, office paperwork, contracts, art, or any item requiring acknowledgement or authorship. The process started in China and soon spread across East Asia. ChinaJapan and Korea currently use a mixture of seals and hand signatures, and increasingly, electronic signatures.
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With roots dating back thousands of years, Chinese seals are more than just a unique motif; they are symbolic of identity, status, and culture. Read on to learn what makes Chinese seals a renowned national treasure. Typically, the seals are carved into stone, but they can also be made of wood, bamboo, bone, or ceramic.
Used since the Shang dynasty — BCEChinese chops allowed the writer or the document signer to place their name on an object. Chinese chops were also seen as a work of art when the carver, after carving the seal or chop end, turned the stone around and carved an animal or other character. Other carvings on Chinese chops include words or phrases, family mottoes, and pictures.
Fig 1 Contents. The colloquial name chop, when referring this kind of seals, was adapted from a Malay word during the colonization of the Straits Settlements. East Asia currently uses a mixture of seals and hand signatures, and increasingly, electronic signatures.
The first record of a seal in China is from BC. Actual bronze seals survive from the 5th century BC, and the practice of sealing must be some centuries older. The emblematic characters cast on Shang Dynasty BC bronze vessels imply the use of something like a seal for impressing on the mold. In subsequent centuries, both names were used.
If you want to use an image from our site, please contact us. We often get the question what a carved seal stone actually looks like or if it is possible to look at the outcome of a carving before actually placing an order for a hand carved Chinese or Japanese seal stone. Since each carved seal is unique — not only in its shape, material and coloring pattern but mainly when it comes to the carving — unfortunately this is not possible.
The Chinese chop or seal is used in Taiwan and China to sign documents, artwork, and other paperwork. The Chinese chop is most commonly made from stone, but can also be made in plastic, ivory, or metal. There are three Mandarin Chinese names for the Chinese chop or seal. There may be a soft surface beneath the paper to ensure a clean transfer of the image.